The Pirates! Band of Misfits

By Christopher Redmond

Mailed on May 02, 2012

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Dear Tanja Kramfert
Character Modeler

Dear Tanja,

There's something to be said for having physical, tactile elements in front of the camera. Knowing that what's being filmed isn't just a bunch of ones and zeros, but a solid substance - that I, like you, could hold in my hand - often makes the action and characters feel just as tangible. It's a shame that poor 3D effects and a 2D script had to undermine your efforts.

What happened?

The titular band of misfits you created certainly fit the physical bill for a family comedy: The Pirate Captain as bushy-bearded leader, The Pirate with Gout as tubby sidekick, The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate as tomboy-in-disguise, The Albino Pirate as…well, maybe a way to save on your paint budget (his condition was strangely never mentioned). Sure they looked good, but it's what's on the inside that counts--even with clay puppets.

For an adventure that positions Charles Darwin as the morally ambiguous ally and Queen Victoria as the villain, there's a surprising lack of punch to the comedy. The Pirate Captain's vain attempt to win the Pirate of the Year award is a worthy story engine, but the lengthy set-up of his poorly-voiced adversaries never pays off like it should. Like the pirates themselves who are constantly disappointed by their lackluster looting, I also expected bigger rewards from the studio that gave us Wallace and Grommit. Instead, I left with a modest bounty that is bound to drown in a sea of better animated films.

The Red-Bearded Pirate Who Wanted More,


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